MTV recently caught up with writer/director/actor Tim Blake Nelson (O Brother Where Art Thou?) and picked his gamma-contaminated brain about reprising his role as Dr. Samuel Sterns in the rumored-to-be-happening sequel to this summer's moderately successful Marvel reboot, The Incredible Hulk.
NOTE: The interview with Nelson was a follow-up to an interview MTV did with super-producer Gale Ann Hurd (The Terminator Trilogy, Hulk, Punisher: War Zone), in which Hurd made it clear that it is her intention to see Incredible Hulk 2 make it into theaters, ideally with all of the original cast in tow.
So what do Hurd's words mean for Tim Blake Nelson's future? Last we saw Dr. Samuel Stern, he was seeing green after a beaker of Bruce Banner's gamma-radiated blood spilled on his noggin. So if everything goes according to Hurd's plan, expect Doc Stern to become the the next baddie in line to take on the Hulk, as the gamma-brained evil mastermind known as The Leader.
“I know Gale Ann was talking to you guys about that recently, and I liked hearing it," beamed an enthusiastic Tim Blake Nelson when MTV spoke with him recently..."I already did [research into The Leader] when I was doing [Dr. Samuel] Sterns, because I felt that it would be helpful to lay in stuff as Sterns for what The Leader would be... So, that was all part of doing Sterns.”
Wow the man has been preparing for his moment in the darklight. And who wouldn't be excited to step up from a supporting role onto center stage as the main villain in popular comic book franchise?
Tim Blake Nelson would play the twistedly brilliant Leader
Now that we know that Nelson is already prepared for a second outing as Hulk's most iconic arch-foe, the question is where does that leave his nemesis-to-be Bruce Banner, who was played by actor Edward Norton?
Coincidentally, Nelson is currently at work doing post-production on a film called Leaves of Grass which he directed, and which stars... Edward Norton, in a dual role. Since the pair have been spending so much time together, Nelson had this bit of insight to offer:
"We talked about [‘Hulk’] a little bit, yeah; we made some jokes about it,” Nelson remembered. “It’s all good, and I really do hope [the sequel] happens, for all sorts of reasons.
...I feel Edward and I are well-suited for one another. It’s really fun collaborating with him, and he made these characters [in ‘Hulk’ and ‘Leaves’] better,” explained Nelson... I’m signed on to do ‘Hulk 2’ and ‘3’ whether Edward’s there or not, so it’s not even up to me,” he explained. “When I agreed to do ‘Hulk,’ I signed off for two sequels, so it’s a moot question. I certainly hope Edward is on the sequel - but that’s up to Marvel and Edward.”
So really we're getting the same answer everyone has given about Edward Norton reprising his role as Bruce Banner: Hope he does, not sure if he will.
Regardless of Norton's involvement, it looks like The Incredible Hulk 2 is gaining steam and that it will have The Leader as its main villain. Guess that's all fans can ask for at this point.
Do you think The Leader will make a more intriguing villain than the Abomination? Or are you a person who has to have Ed Norton back on board before you can support The Incredible Hulk 2? Let us know how you feel about this one.